• #11Forklift, Ohio: Issue #11
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  • #33Forklift, Ohio: Issue #33
  • #34Forklift, Ohio: Issue #34

 

SOLD OUT

Francesca Chabrier
The End of the Lonesome Era

The internet means I want to touch you.
I write to you on the internet to say hello,
why don't you try and touch me too.
I found a lettuce growing machine on the internet.
I found tiny cans of oatmeal, and a replica
of a painting that I printed out and hung on my wall.
The internet feels like almost being someplace.
It feels like doing a pretty normal thing
somewhere strange, like playing fetch in a graveyard.
Behind a veil of clean glass, the internet can see so many eyes.
I thought mine were hazel, but it said they are olive.
The internet never sleeps. It is millions of spiders.
Big spiders and little spiders. Spiders whose bodies feel like linen.
Spiders that look fierce. Spiders that are harmless.
Spiders that move in the dark and behave like the sea.

 

Tomaž Šalamun
The Work on a Platform

Pearls of white queen bee,
huge white gull plane above the lavender field,
above the houses, factories along the river,
thirty meters tall shiny thin plate
half a kilometer long,
there the brain pours onto paper.
The wind swings steel strings.
To the wood - the little boat - you can't strip off
gray concrete. You pull off body hair, puff
blowballs. Would a ship keel, ribs, stand
on the street? Does the worker mixed
in concrete look like the black man from
Madagascar? He has black skin,
it shines like iguana skin. Is the white
crocodile falling on both flanks and
fluttering, beating his apples, still
the iguana? You make Ph.D. and you want
to go into dinosaur's keel.
You take chocolate from his mouth,
the machine drops little pads and you watch
them rally on the lawn. Everyone has to bring
fifteen tubes. Three rucksacks. Twenty, up to
twenty-seven strings. All of them have
taut muscles, all of them have the same
gestures. Do they display or put together
their bycicles? Will they go somewhere?
Why don't they give some work to
the shoeshine man? In the Smithsonian
there're the longest bones. Some sweet juice,
some prosseco in rags is available for tourists.
I have pupils in my mouth. The gaze goes
on the picture. The skin will rehabilitate itself.

Translated from the Slovenian by Michael Thomas Taren
and the author

 

Karyna McGlynn
Giovanni Ribisi (American Actor, 1967-)

When God & Giovanni Ribisi get into an argument
     guess who's left holding the ribbed condoms?
When God & Giovanni Ribisi really get into the thick of it
     somebody's chocolate rabbit gets bitten in half.
When God & Giovanni Ribisi get all up in each other's stuff
     an investment banker cries into his coke spoon
When God & Giovanni Ribisi get into bed together
     somebody in Tokyo makes a massively boss music video.
When God & Giovanni Ribisi get off their high horses
     there is triumphant nudity among the soldiers on earth
and all the ferrets become airships tethered to the tip of Sicily!

 

Anthony Madrid
I'm My Own Gal I Answer To Nobody

I'M my own gal--I answer to nobody.
Let those beautyboys, gloomy as eagles, do their worst.
 
People are not lovable?  Well, that's why I don't love.
And if I'm still "vulnerable to circumstance," it's no matter.
 
The terrible cataloguer of lusts, who holds up every lurid detail
At the end of a pair of tweezers, may proceed in peace:
 
Let him write his dirty Book of Boys and Girls--I'll not complain.
And if I crave an untroubled repose, I'll confer with my pillow.
 
And if somebody asks my secret, I'll say: "Friends, it's just nothing.
I have neither beauty, nor courage, nor wisdom; all that I have-

Is a firm devotion to kindness, to the bankrupting of all revenge,
To the point where I never say to anybody Just get over it.

And as for love and the act of love, let me (like Lolita) be true to my Dick.
Let me bring comfort to my Nadya in her unhappy time . . . "

And now MADRID's ascending into heaven!  Here's our chance to look up his dress!
Oh, but God! the thing I see there-!  It's like a shark shaking the life out of
     the back wheel of a tractor!

 

Joanna Hershon
The Eclipse

At a diner in Manhattan, Louis and Allison are eating breakfast. It has been an unstable springtime. Yesterday was cold and rainy; today is all pleasure, big-city bright and clear, the slight breeze goading him somehow away from his bleaker resolutions, as if to say: Go on and enjoy this fine woman. It isn’t as if he won’t miss a few things. Louis will miss how she bends and unbends her legs while they do it, as if kicking underwater. They both have substandard living arrangements that shout of their temporary tenure, and so he’d procured his brother’s friend’s apartment for a night so that he might enjoy Allison’s smooth skin properly. That night has now been spent. They burrowed themselves under foreign yellow sheets, and screwed mostly sideways. He appreciates how she has minimal muscle tone and beautiful grey eyes. He appreciates how she appreciates that he is strong enough to lift her. She is six feet tall. 

She sits in the diner booth very straight. He sees the effort going into it. Yesterday, when they’d stood on Madison Avenue in front of the Calvin Klein store, when he’d mentioned how the calla lilies alone were likely worth more than the daily food supply of several third world countries, Allison had taken him by the hand. She’d asked him to watch her try on clothes. Though she was no one’s idea of frivolous, she seemed to understand that she looked infinitely better in clothes she couldn’t afford. She’d emerged from the dressing room in a blue linen dress and a pair of shoes that were more like four slim silver straps that mysteriously held her feet above the ground. She took down her hair. There was exactly nothing funny about Allison at that moment, but he’d laughed.

Last month, while they were waiting for a bus, he made her promise she’d never leave him. Never leave you? She had asked. Then she’d repeated it. Oh never mind, he’d responded. He remembers doing that now, as he orders a bowl of Rice Krispies, in the diner.

You’re having cereal? Allison asks.

I am, Louis answers, remembering why he’d asked her to never leave him. Her hand had felt perfect on top of his; it had been little more than that. It had been evening in a town to which he knew he’d never return. He’d quit smoking one month before. The sky was pink. If Allison hadn’t questioned him, hadn’t pointed out his oddness and sudden affection, he might have proposed to her right then and there.

Now, she asks for Cornflakes with skim milk. It makes him sadder than he would have expected.

You don’t want French toast? He asks.

This is fine, she tells him. She opens her grey eyes wider. Listen, she says.

Yes?

Listen.

What’s that? he says. He rips open five sugar packets and pours them into his coffee.

I have an idea.

For a game?

No, she says, not a game.

I think, she says—as he stirs his coffee—I think we should get an apartment together.

An apartment? he says, as if he’s saying: An elephant?

The cereal arrives and they both attack their bowls.

He notices that her blond hair is showing red roots. He wonders what she must have looked like with red hair.

Is your hair really red or just kind of auburn, you know, naturally?

What?

Your hair.

My hair? she says. My hair?

Forget it.

My hair is naturally brownish.

It looks kind of red.

Forget about the apartment, she says.

They finish their cereal and look out the window at the relentless light. The buildings shine metallic like the shoes in Calvin Klein. He had gotten a real kick out of those shoes. The sky right now is the color of that plain blue dress Allison had worn in that enormous store. She’d looked stunning—all those moneyed shoppers had stopped and stared. Why hadn’t he wanted to tell her?

Outside the diner, people pass by on the sidewalk and he sees all the people as Allison’s people. They are the color of her breasts and lips and toes, and he can see that she is their queen.

Why are they stopping? He asks aloud, as if only she could know. Why are they, do you think?

Allison gets up from the table and goes outside the diner to see. She blends right into the people, of course. He’ll never see her again. 

Later, later in life, having slept with many others—many redheads, many blondes, many tall and taller women—he’ll be able to recall not the quality of light, not the evidently eerie progression from brilliant to soft to dark, but Allison’s empty white cereal bowl. He’ll regret not going outside when she did, when the world stopped so briefly, just stopped in its tracks, and Allison was part of it.